Microsoft Details The InstantGo Feature In Windows 8.1, Lists Some Misconceptions About It

InstantGo is one of the smart features in Windows 8.1 that replaces the sleep/standby features. It was previously called Connected Standby in Windows 8 and Windows RT. InstantGo is not just a software feature, it works in conjunction with  System on Chip (SoC) designs from both Intel and ARM. Microsoft today blogged about the InstantGo feature and the popular misconceptions about it. You can check whether your system supports InstantGo by typing powercfg /a in Commands prompt and press Enter, you’ll see the Standby (Connected) option only if you have InstantGo:

What is InstantGo?

InstantGo maintains network connectivity when your screen is off in standby mode, allowing the system to update things in the background, and keeping it ready to instantly resume. For example, it can sync your email while your screen is off so new mail is ready and waiting as soon as you come back. Or if you want to be reachable via Skype even when you step away from your PC, you can go ahead and turn the screen off, and your calls will still come through. Power consumption in this connected standby mode is very low, and yet the system is always ready to spring back to life with your next interaction.

Popular misconceptions:

InstantGo is a Windows software feature.InstantGo depends on tight integration between hardware, software (drivers), and operating system to deliver new user experiences.
InstantGo only runs on ARM architecture systems.InstantGo systems exist for ARM, x86, and x64 architectures.
InstantGo is only useful if I’m connected to a network.All InstantGo systems allow you to turn the screen on and off almost instantly.
InstantGo is only available on Surface Pro and Surface 2.Numerous systems support InstantGo. Examples include: Dell Venue Pro 8 , Dell Venue Pro 11, Asus T100TA, ThinkPad Tablet 2, Surface, Surface 2, and more.
InstantGo runs exclusively on Windows RT.All Windows RT systems support InstantGo. But Windows 8 and Windows 8.x systems with the proper hardware may also support InstantGo.
InstantGo only runs on tablets.InstantGo systems include tablets, convertibles with docks, and even some laptops.



Read more at Windows team blog.

  • John Mumpitz

    Surface Pro 2 does not support InstantGo (Connected standby)! WTF, microsoft?

    • asdsadasd

      umm yes it does

      • Blubster

        hmmm no it does not. I have one. It looks like for instantgo you need a TPM 2.0 module, and the Surface Pro 2 has a TPM 1.2.
        Sad news indeed, i always hoped that the SP2 couldn’t have instantgo at launch because of windows 8.1 X64 itself, which was no ready at the time. I hoped there would be a firmware upgrade. This is not going to be the case it seems…

        • Ray

          Surface Pro and Pro2 do not support Connected Standby because Intel did not fully support it on Core CPU before.

          • Blubster

            Nope, that’s not the reason. The Surface Pro 2 CPU is a haswell processor, compatible with Connected Standby itself. It is the rest that is not. The Surface Pro 3 uses the same processor as some Surface Pro 2 (there are core i5 4200u and 4300u used in SP2, and 4300u in SP3).


    Is all the information here accurate? Was sure that other articles mentioned Connected Standby is very new and just been implemented in Surface Pro 3?!

    • dudemanshoehead

      It’s new for the Pro line. Surface Pro 3 was the first Surface Pro to have InstantGo (connected standby).

  • jimski27

    I just wish you could toggle InstantGo (Connected Standby) on/off, like you could for a thing else. I didn’t require this feature on my Surface, but because of it, I only got 3-4 days on standby. My laptops could go weeks w/o it, and still have “near” instant on.

  • Adam J Mickiewicz

    It’s right in the Microsoft blog post above: “Numerous systems support InstantGo. Examples include: Dell Venue Pro 8 , Dell Venue Pro 11, Asus T100TA, ThinkPad Tablet 2, Surface, Surface 2, and more.”
    So… what’s the story Microsoft?